Hélder Rodrigues and his WR450F Rally delivered a great performance for the Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team on the third stage of the Sealine Cross Country Rally in Qatar, securing a podium finish
Hélder Rodrigues and his WR450F Rally delivered a great performance for the Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team on the third stage of the Sealine Cross Country Rally in Qatar, securing a podium finish. Due to his sensational race during the day’s sprint, he climbed two positions in the combined rankings; he is now in 4th position overall, with just a 2’30-minute gap to make up over the last two days of competition to finish off the race with an overall podium.
After the third stage at the Sealine Cross Country Rally (SCCR), the riders have now completed over 1400-kilometres, of which 930 kilometres were timed stages. The race conditions are very exhausting and the riders have to keep a steady pace in the constant heat. This morning at the departure of the special, two world-class riders announced their withdrawal, citing previous injuries sustained in the race.
The SCCR course format is complex and the stages are getting even harder for the riders as they are based on navigation abilities, with many direction changes on difficult terrains. The daily road-books are saturated with plenty of navigation notes. On the eve of each new stage, the riders have to study the road book provided by the organisers, a sort of a series of maps with specific rally-raid symbols, that indicate the mandatory check points of the next day’s stage. At the SCCR, more than in any other race, the riders have to devote a substantial amount of time to getting familiar with their road-book, which could cut into rest time. Nonetheless, with Jordi Arcarons as the new Sport Manager supporting the riders, and the Yamaha Racing technical team confirming the right set-up for the new WR450F Rally, the Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team keeps improving their performance.
Hélder Rodrigues and his WR450FRally ended up on the stage podium. Whether racing on the rocky terrain of the Qatari desert or on the sandy coasts of the Persian Gulf sea, the Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally rider displayed his ability to handle hard stages, tackling the navigational challenges.
He kept up the pace and attacked strongly for a decisive result: 15 minutes made up in the overall classification. By finishing third in the stage, Rodrigues sharply spiked to fourth place overall. He has two remaining stages left to bridge the gap to his rivals to access the overall podium.
Adrien Van Beveren, in good momentum after yesterday’s stage win, was able to stay focused and gain more experience on his new WR450F Rally. He left in second place from the start line but quickly caught up to the first competitor and took the lead. The young rider was then leading the pack for almost 200 kilometres until the refuelling, alone on the unmarked route for the first time of his still fledgling career. Adrien Van Beveren made good time again: he ended up fourth on the stage, closely behind his teammate Rodrigues.